While the turf season traditionally signals the end of flat racing in Ireland, the 2011/12 season saw the addition of a winter championship at Dundalk gave flat racing fans something to keep their flame lit until the turf season returned.
The all-weather facility at Dundalk came sharply into focus at the end of 2009 with the dearth of turf racing. There was no turf racing in Ireland from 25th November and 12th December 2009. During that period, Dundalk was the only track operating in the country.
It led for calls to use Dundalk more often and trainers have supported the decision to use the facility more by supporting races at the track in big numbers.
The decision to open up Dundalk is not just good news for owners, trainers and jockeys alike. Jim Martin, Chief Executive for Dundalk, says that the local area has also benifited from the additional race meetings.
““The series of additional Friday evening fixtures at Dundalk in January, February and March means that there will be a consistent weekly horse racing product to showcase during an otherwise bleak period in the year.
“This is good news for the town of Dundalk, the Flat racing industry and good news for the betting industry, with additional employment and earning opportunities created in all sectors.”
The ‘winter championship’ series continues until late March when the 2012 flat championship will start again at The Curragh after Cheltenham.
Dundalk Stadium are also offering a dining special for January/February at €30pp combining admission, race card and a four course meal in the glass fronted ‘Champion’s Restaurant’ overlooking the horse and greyhound tracks.